In another part of our club takeover, Celtic Tri’s Amy Jones talks about her view on GB qualification during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Here are Amy’s thoughts.
Qualifying for the BTF/GB Age Group team before Covid has been difficult. You qualify a year in advance of the World Champs, but with the pandemic, it now looks like 2 years on before I may race for GB Sprint World Champs. It’s tough as I dedicated months and months of hard training in 2018-19 limiting any social life to improve all-round to achieve the qualification goal. Having that focus taken away with all of the uncertainty has been frustrating, especially when considering the adaptations needed to train effectively with the various restrictions being in place. Training has had to be different.
Even before the pandemic struck, and although I’m part of a brilliant club, I have always enjoyed training alone. I have however missed the camaraderie of group sessions and like-minded chats, although the Facebook Celtic Tri posts have been brilliant, even just to reassure that that we’re all in the same boat and that support network is there when needed.
I am fortunate to live pretty close to the beach, so to keep some focus, I managed lots of sea swimming. Turbo sessions have also kept me going, but I have found working on my running weaknesses a massive strain, as usually, it’s the pressure of upcoming races that I use as my main motivation to get on the track and work on my speed. There’s no doubt that the last twelve months have been an emotional rollercoaster, and with the pressures of work and life balance in lockdown, I have gone through waves of training focus.
Personally, I feel some massive disappointments seeing how some of my strengths seem to have become my weaknesses, and realising that I need a race lined up to push myself. The uncertainty certainly hasn’t helped my focus, and this has highlighted that the psychology side of training is crucial to understand and there’s a need to adapt accordingly. On the plus side, I have fallen in love with long zone 2 bike sessions, possibly learned to enjoy the process rather than achievement, and realised that I can chase the dream once more when the world is back to normal. It is more important to enjoy what you do and keep the engine ticking over because we will be back racing sooner rather than later.